Rick Stein believes that his USI women’s basketball team will have its hands full Saturday night against a team that presses the entire game and, when it’s not pressing, is creating half-court traps. Davis & Elkins, a Division II school from West Virginia, comes to the PAC for a 7:30 tipoff, but only has a 1-2 record despite averaging 84 points per game. It’s losses were 81-77 to Walsh and 98-85 to Lake Erie before a 91-80 win over Pitt.-Johnstown on Nov. 5. So the Senators will have been off for two weeks when they meet the Eagles.
Stein noted that D&E forces an average of 26 turnovers per game. But the Senators are averaging 22 themselves. They’re also shooting just 36.7 percent from the field, while the opposition is shooting 39.4 percent. Furthermore, opponents have sunk nine more 3-point baskets than D&E, 29-20, while the Nats are just 20-for-84 — that’s a microscopic 23.8 percent — from 3-point land.
The individual numbers are highlighted by Stephanie Wooten, a 5-7 freshman averaging 17.7 points per game, and Alicia Lentz, a 6-3 senior averaging 10.0 points. But this is shaping up as a high-scoring contest, although I think USI will have the high score by a significant margin. The Eagles’ defense should make it most difficult for D&E to get settled and set up, and USI’s offense should be quick enough to beat the press and get numerous easy layups. That said, the Eagles can’t get sloppy on offense and lazy on defense, and that goes for any opponent.